The Association of Retired Conservationists was organized by a group of retirees from the Wisconsin Conservation Department in the 1960's. By the mid-1970's, the WCD had been combined with the Department of Resource Development to form the Department of Natural Resources, and the retirees group had grown significantly, met monthly for lunch and began inviting speakers to address the group on issues of interest to the members. Today, the organization has more than two hundred members.

website contact:

What's New in 2022?

Member SinceNameYears of ServiceDiv/Bureau
January 2022Jeff Pagels30Grants
January 2022Todd Peterson24Wildlife Mgmt
May 2022John Komassa31Fisheries
May 2022Jim Amrhein34Water Mgmt
September 2022David Woodbury34BEAR
September 2022Mary Zickermann34Real Estate
September 2022Ruth Klassy34Personnel
October 2022Kim Walz35Water
November 2022Mark Cain31Water
November 2022Jeff Myers33Air

Larson, Randy R.

Randy R. Larson, age 64, of Wild Rose, formerly of Auburndale, WI was called home by his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on November 20, 2022 at ThedaCare Medical Center in New London with his loving family at his side.

Randy was born in Marshfield, WI on June 28, 1958, the only son of Lory Larson and Coral Larson Paul. He is divorced from Jean Larson, the mother of his daughter. He is survived by his loving mother Coral Paul of Auburndale; his daughter Casey Rae Larson (Michael Clausing) of Wild Rose; his adorable grandson Logan (Buckaroo) Clausing of Wild Rose; and his special and dear friend Karen Kieper. He is also survived by many aunts, uncles, cousins and dear friends who will truly miss him. He was preceded in death by his father Lory Larson; his step-father Lee Paul; grandparents Ray and Myrtle Teska, Myron and Linda Larson; and other close family and friends.

Randy began his career in 1981 as an LTE at the Spooner Fish Hatchery. He became a permanent employee as a Natural Resources Assistant in the fisheries in 1985 at the Black River Falls District Headquarters working with the coolwater fish. He was promoted in 1986 to the Lake Mills Fish Hatchery where he worked with both cold and coolwater fish. In 1988 he became a Hatchery Supervisor at the Wild Rose Fish Hatchery which is the State's Largest coldwater hatchery and only 1 of 2 hatcheries that raise both cold and coolwater fish. Randy managed the hatchery's WPDES permit for 28 years to ensure all its discharges from numerous outfalls to a class A trout stream met permit requirements. He led a spawning crew for Great Lakes spotted musky on Long Lake (Waushara County) for 11 years helping in restoring the species to Green Bay and the Great Lakes. He enjoyed giving slide shows about the hatchery to as many as 16 elementary school groups per year for 20 years. As he supervised staff, Randy gave them the support and tools necessary to meet fish production goals and quotas.

Randy enjoyed many hobbies, his favorites were gardening, working all kinds perennials and beautifying his yard. He was also an avid Wisconsin Sports Fan and loved supporting the Wild Cats. He also loved hunting, fishing and putting models together. Every Christmas he made personal ornaments for family.

A Memorial Service for Randy will be on Saturday, December 10, 2022 at 11:00 AM at St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran Church in Wild Rose, WI. Reverend Brian Roehrborn will officiate. A visitation will be held on Saturday morning from 10:00 – 11:00 AM at the church. A celebration of life will be held at a later date. Should relatives and friends wish to honor Randy's memory with a gift, you may do so by sending them to Casey Larson, 218 Grant Avenue, Wild Rose WI 54984. Money will be used for his grandson Logan's college education fund.

The Holly Funeral Home of Wild Rose is assisting the family with arrangements.

November Special Guest Speaker

David Clutter

David Clutter, Executive Director of the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin, at the November ARC meeting, gave a very informative presentation regarding the many programs the Foundation is involved with on the ground here in Wisconsin.
Go here too see his presentation . . .

November 2022

Jeff Myers retired in 2022. Jeff joined DNR in 1989 as the environmental toxicologist for the Air Program and remained in this position until his retirement in 2022. He worked on air toxics rules and served as the liaison with the State Department of Health. Jeff worked on many state and national workgroups and professional organizations, like the National Association of Clean Air Agencies. He also worked on rules for Mercury, Acid Rain & Criteria Pollutants and was coordinator of the Air Program’s refrigerant recovery program. Before joining DNR, Jeff worked at UW-Madison in chemical health and safety and at the State Lab of Hygiene’s Toxicology section. Jeff received his BS in Chemistry from UW-Parkside and his MS in Environmental and Administrative Sciences, with an emphasis on toxicology and risk assessment, from UW-Green Bay.

November 2022

Mark Cain retired on November 19, 2021 after working at WDNR for 31 years. Mark started in GEF 2 as an LTE in the Industrial Wastewater Section. He quickly became a permanent employee working on Wastewater and Animal Waste (CAFO) permits. Mark continued to work with CAFOs and Wastewater facilities as a Wastewater Engineer and moved to the South Central Region in 1998. He enjoyed working in SCR until he retired. In retirement he spends his time traveling, playing hockey, watching sports, boating, and biking.

October 2022

Kim Walz retired in Jan. 2017 after 35 years with WDNR in the Central Office in Madison. Originally hired to work in the WPDES wastewater permit program, then as an Engineer in the Wastewater program. In 1993 Kim worked in the Water Quality Planning Section. The last 15 years she worked in the Office of Great Lakes until she retired. Since retiring Kim likes to spend time playing tennis, golf, pickleball, kayaking, biking and hiking. Kim and her husband also spend lots of time traveling to see their 3 daughters who live in VT, CO and OR.

Woehler, Eugene E.

Eugene E. Woehler, aged 99, passed away September 27, 2022 at his home.

"Big Gene" was born in 1923 in Appleton, WI the oldest child of Erna (Jens) and Arthur Woehler. He graduated from Appleton West High School in 1941 and was among the first group of 19 year olds drafted into WWII. Intelligent and capable, he was assigned to the (then) Army Air Force as a weather observer in North Africa, serving in Algeria and Tunisia.

Gene attended the University of Wisconsin, graduating in 1949 with a degree in Soil Conservation. He worked for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources as a Wildlife Biologist, retiring in 1985.

Gene married Marlene Baxter September 5, 1959. They were married for 58 years until Marlene's death in 2018.

Gene is survived by daughter, Kristin Marlow; grandchildren: James (Emily Smith), Margaret, and Bruce Marlow, all of Madison; sister, Doris McMahon of Cedarburg; and her daughter, Pamela Liegeois and family; and many other extended family.

He was preceded in death by his parents, infant brother James, wife Marlene, and son-in-law Brad Marlow.

There will be a memorial visitation from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Friday, October 7, 2022 at Cress Funeral Service, 3610 Speedway Rd., Madison, WI 53705. Gene was laid to rest at Sunset Memory Gardens.

Please share your memories at

Cress Funeral Service
3610 Speedway Rd.
Madison, WI 53705

Germain, Clifford

Clifford E. Germain of Madison, age 99, died peacefully at home on September 26, 2022. He was born on September 14, 1923, in Merrill, WI to Elizabeth (Sense) and Glen Germain.

Cliff served in the U.S. army in Germany and France during WWII as a radio technician. After returning to the states he graduated from UW-Madison in 1949 with a BS in Zoology where his most influential professors were Aldo Leopold and John Curtis. Cliff's education, along with his childhood of fishing and hunting in northern Wisconsin, secured his interest in nature and conservation.

Cliff began his career with the Wisconsin Conservation Department (WCD), purchasing acres of wetlands on behalf of the state, including some that would become State Wildlife Areas. Later he became the first ecologist hired by the WCD as staff person for the Preservation of Scientific Areas and then joined the DNR for the remainder of his career as Scientific Areas Program ecologist, partnering with The Nature Conservancy to protect habitat for the state of Wisconsin. Recognized accomplishments include Cliff's induction into the Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame in 2014, the establishment of the Cliff Germain award for Excellence in Community-Based Restoration by the Madison Audubon Society in 2008, the dedication of the Germain Hemlocks State Natural Area by the DNR in 2002, and the first ever George B. Fell Award from the Natural Areas Association as the founding member and the driving force for the first state natural areas program in the U.S. in 1987.

Cliff had an eclectic set of interests including growing Sungold tomatoes and maintaining his natural front yard, educating people about climate change, cheering on the Badgers, Packers and the Brewers, playing video poker, traveling the world with his wife Colleen, and spending winters in Sierra Vista, AZ where he led guided hikes and was a Friend of the San Pedro River. Cliff took up golf in his 40s, getting 2 holes in one and golfing with his retired golf league until he was 92 years old. Of course Cliff's biggest joy was being in nature. His favorite spots were the UW-Madison Arboretum, Parfrey's Glen, and the numerous state natural areas he helped to preserve.

Cliff is survived by his family Al Germain (Julie Waldman), Glenn Germain (Maria-Rosa), Chris Schlichenmaier (Jerry), Jhon Koppa (Ivonne Suryana) Joel Koppa, Kathi Koppa (David Inman, daughter Jane Lowy) and grandchildren Sven Hansen (Dawn), Eric Hansen, Carl Germain, Nora Germain, Lily Wilson, Gabriel Weldeslassie, and great grandchildren Heather, Kirsten (Taylor DiSalvo), and Morgan Hansen and great great grandchild Estelle DiSalvo. Cliff maintained close contact with his Minocqua-based family Dee Smedberg, Dave and Jeff (Holly) Hanson, and Erica Schumacher and family and enjoyed their cookies and artwork.

Cliff was preceded in death by his siblings Douglas, Margie, and Stanley, his musically-accomplished first wife Patricia Germain, his second wife and life companion of many happy years Colleen Germain, and children Joan and Michael Koppa.

Cliff was fortunate to have amazing neighbors on "the circle" for the past 50+ years and was particularly close to the Monts and to Bill and Carole. The family would like to thank his colleagues at the DNR, most recently Thomas Meyer, and the team at Agrace - particularly Rachel – as well as the amazing Dr. Datallo, Cliff's caregiver Laura, and, Kelly, his most dedicated and loving caretaker without whom he could not have stayed at home this past year.

There will be a celebration of Cliff's life on Thursday, October 20 from 6:30pm-8:30pm at the Aldo Leopold Nature Center, 330 Femrite Dr, Monona, WI. Memories shared about Cliff are welcomed.

Donations in remembrance of Cliff can be made to The Nature Conservancy WI Chapter, The Audubon Society, and Planned Parenthood. Another way to honor Cliff is to read one of his favorite books, "A Sand County Almanac," by Aldo Leopold.

Please share your memories at

Cress Funeral & Cremation Service
3610 Speedway Road Madison
(608) 238-3434

September 2022

David Woodbury will retire on October 21, 2022 with over 45 years of state service, 39 of which were with WDNR. David served as an Environmental Analyst in BEAR (Bureau of Environmental Analysis and Review) and for his last 30 years with DNR served as the Emergency Management Director in the Division of Public Safety and Resource Protection. In retirement he enjoys traveling and researching and consulting on safety issues.

September 2022

Mary Zickermann retired in May of 2013 after 27 years employed by the State of Wisconsin, 21 of those years working at WDNR. Mary worked in the Southern Region's Real Estate program purchasing property with Stewardship for the Wildlife, Fisheries and Park programs. Later in her career she worked in the Central Office in the Grants program. Since retiring Mary has enjoyed traveling especially to Oregon and Colorado.

September 2022

Ruth Klassy After working in the Southern Region for 29 years, Ruth retired in July of 2014. She worked her entire career in Human Resources as a Payroll and Benefits Specialist. She has three married children and three grandchildren. When not spending time with them she stays busy on her farm with goats, ducks, chickens, cats and a dog. And . . . she enjoys going out for lunch!

McCown, Wendy Murl

Wendy Murl McCown passed away peacefully on Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022, surrounded by family and friends at Agrace HospiceCare. She had lived gracefully and with much patience with ALS for three years. Wendy was born on April 20, 1952, in Bay Shore, N.Y. She was 70 years old.

Wendy is survived by her husband, Randall; son, Julian McCown-Berndt; beloved dog, Gracie; sisters, Holly Lewitas and Bonnie (Thomas) Barnes; nieces, Cindy, Laura, Sarah and Sandra; nephew, Nathan; and many dear friends. She was preceded in death by her parents, Wilmur and Kathryn McCown; and parents-in-law, Herbert and Julia Berndt.

Wendy was well loved by family, friends and co-workers at DNR.

A celebration of Wendy’s life will be held at a later date. Online condolences may be made at

Gunderson East
Funeral & Cremation Care
5203 Monona Drive
(608) 221-5420

Messling, Marlene Beth

Marlene Beth Anderson was born on a farm in Mound Valley near Middlebury Church outside Platteville, Wis., to Gladys Lenore Klosterman and William Henry Anderson, the seventh of eight children.

Marlene graduated from Doudna Laboratory School and following graduation from Platteville High School, earned a Bachelor of Arts, Arts and Sciences and a Masters of Arts degree in Teaching, from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.

Marlene met LaRoy Messling between degrees and they married in 1972. Together they built a beautiful home and park landscape in Deerfield, Wis., which was a source of joy and entertainment. Together they gardened, birdwatched, explored and were best friends for 50 years, and were adored by many cats.

Marlene worked for the early Social Security Administration doing intake processing. She briefly worked for the McDonald's Madison office. The majority of her professional career was spent at the Bureau of Finance, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

Marlene loved life and was loved in return. She was a devoted daughter, sister, wife, aunt, and friend. Marlene is survived by her husband, LaRoy Messling; siblings, Wilma Anderson, Marshall Anderson (Bernetta) and Laurel Anderson (Pat); along with several generations of nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by sisters, Moya Thomas and Loa Mueller Nelson; and brothers, Carroll and Elwood Anderson.

Marlene was inspired by and inspired others as a member of the Madison Area Doll Club, Mad City Quilt Guild, Monona Senior Center Monday Morning Group, and the Fort Atkinson Piecemakers Guild. She developed her own style, excelling at fabric art, making beautiful jackets, hats, wall-hangings, bags and quilts. She often embellished her works with found materials. She was considered the "yoyo queen" of fabric. She created whimsical and artistic awards and prizes. Many handmade Christmas cards, quilts, and spontaneous gifts were given. She enjoyed making people happy throughout her full, creative, and interesting life.

Marlene chose cremation and will be buried at County Line Cemetery, outside Platteville. A Celebration of Life will be held at GUNDERSON EAST FUNERAL AND CREMATION CARE, 5203 Monona Drive, Madison, at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 1, 2022.

Online condolences may be made:

Gunderson East
Funeral & Cremation Care
5203 Monona Drive
(608) 221-5420

Amend, Dorothy A.

Dorothy A. Amend, age 80, of Madison, passed away on Sunday, Aug. 21, 2022, at UW Hospital. She was born on March 1, 1942, in Portage, Wis., the daughter of Harold and Clara (Esser) Behling.

Dorothy graduated from Portage High School in 1960. She went on to work as an accounting clerk for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, retiring in 1999.

Dorothy was a very active volunteer with the American Red Cross for many years. She loved doing puzzles and always had a few she was working on. Dorothy was very active in her grandchildren’s lives, rarely missing a special or sporting event. She enjoyed traveling to visit family and friends. She was a very caring and practical person who touched many people’s lives.

Dorothy is survived by her children, Timothy (Pamela) Amend, Theresa (Joseph) Gervasi and Tracey Amend; seven grandchildren, Stephanie (Brandon) Hollander, Shaun (Jennifer) Amend, Lindsey (Jeff) Lindberg, Nathan Amend, Danielle (Kevin) Garceau, Nicole (Kyle) Schultz and Courtney Amend; six great-grandchildren, Noah Hollander, Hanna Amend, Reagan Amend, Wyatt McIntyre, JJ Lindberg and Avery Lindberg; two sisters, Mary (Dave) Mellem and Jean Calkins; sister-in-law, Grace Hinzman; and many amazing close friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents; infant son, George Amend; brother, Russell Behling; many sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law.

Memorials may be made to the American Red Cross or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Online condolences may be made at

Gunderson West
Funeral & Cremation Care
7435 University Ave.
(608) 831-6761

Enerson, Claire Richard "Dick"

  Claire Richard "Dick" Enerson, age 90, of Westfield, IN, passed away at home on July 3, 2022. He was born May 14, 1932 in Eau Claire, WI, to Claire T. and Mary Velma (Finnegan) Enerson. Claire's parents farmed in North Branch, WI, and he attended North Branch school, a one-room school house, until he entered high school. He graduated from Lincoln High School in Alma Center, Class of 1950. In high school, Claire was active in music, where he played saxophone in the band. In state competition, he won first place in a sax solo. At the age 16, he played professionally in a polka band.

Claire joined the Navy in 1950 and after basic training, entered the Naval School of Music in Anacostia, MD. In 1951 he was stationed in Sasebo, Japan and was a member of the Navy Band for the Com 7 Fleet under Admiral Jocko Clark where he played saxophone and clarinet. The band would play at the EM Club for a month and then spend a month on the bomb line in North Korea. They were known as the best band in the Pacific. He spent two and one-half years in the Pacific.

Claire married Carol (Moore) Enerson on August 28, 1954. He graduated with a forestry degree from Michigan Tech in 1958. He worked with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for over 30 years and started his career as the forest manager of the Flambeau River State Forest. From there, he transferred to Dodgeville where he served as the Park Manager at Governor Dodge State Park before being promoted to area director where he managed and oversaw all natural resources functions in five counties in southwestern Wisconsin.

Claire was a life-long poet who enjoyed writing and sharing his poetry with family and friends. He was a certified hypnotherapist for over 20 years.

Claire and Carol retired in 1987 to Mesa, AZ, and lived there until Carol's passing in 2016. They enjoyed life in the desert and spent many summers traveling to Wisconsin to spend time with family and friends. In 2016, Claire moved to Westfield, IN, where he spent the last few years of his life.

Claire is survived by sons: Craig (Sherry) of Chassel, MI, Bruce (Deb) Enerson of Algonquin, IL; his daughter-in-law, Rose; his grandchildren: Jacob (Ashley) Enerson, Matt (Michelle) Enerson and Nicole (JT) Engstrom; his sister, Mary Jo (Gene) Stoutenburg of Salem, OR; as well as two great-grandchildren: William and Caellum; along with many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Carol, his parents, and his brother, Ken Enerson. At Claire's request, no funeral or memorial service is immediately planned.

Rappe, Diane Carol

Diane Carol Rappe, age 79, of Madison, passed away on Sunday, June 26, 2022, at St. Mary's Hospital. She was born on Sept. 20, 1942, in Madison, the daughter of Frederick and Vivian (Bennett) Streber.

Diane graduated from Madison East High School in 1960. She married Jack Rappe on Jan. 27, 1962, in Madison. Jack and Diane recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in Florida this year.

After high school Diane graduated from nurses training and worked at Monona Grove Clinic for 10 years as an LPN. Then she worked for the State of Wisconsin and retired from the DNR.

Diane was a member of Al-Anon and Bashford United Methodist Church. She enjoyed shopping, traveling, and having lunch with the girls. Diane loved spending time at her second home in Florida during the winter months.

Diane is survived by her husband, Jack; sons, Jay Rappe and Jeffrey (Karen) Rappe; brother, Thomas (Diane) Streber; and many nieces, nephews, and other relatives and friends. She was preceded in death by two separate anencephalic sons who died at birth; and her parents.

A funeral service will be held at GUNDERSON EAST FUNERAL AND CREMATION CARE, 5203 Monona Drive, Madison, at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, July 6, 2022. Visitation will be held at the funeral home from 11:30 a.m. until the time of the service on Wednesday.

Memorials may be gifted in Diane's name to Monona Serenity Group.

Online condolences may be made at

Gunderson East
Funeral & Cremation Care
5203 Monona Drive
(608) 221-5420

Blasdel, Mary L.

Mary L. Blasdel, age 86, passed away on Friday, June 10, 2022, at Four Winds Manor in Verona, WI. She was born on October 25, 1935, in the Town of Eden in Iowa County, the daughter of William and Vera (Lindauer) Trankle. Mary graduated from Cobb High School in 1953. On January 13, 1954, she was united in marriage to Delbert Blasdel at the Cobb United Methodist Church. Mary worked for the Wisconsin DNR for many years. She was a member of the Bethany United Methodist Church in Madison and sang in the choir. Mary also volunteered with RSVP of Dane County. In her younger years, Mary played catcher on Verona area softball teams.

She enjoyed traveling and camping with her family, playing cards with friends, bluegrass music, and knitting. Mary loved her grandchildren and great grandchildren immensely; they were an important part of her life. She enjoyed so much hearing about what was going on in each of their lives and seeing photos and videos and getting to occasionally facetime with them. Mary was an avid Wisconsin sports fan; she especially loved cheering on her beloved Green Bay Packers. Delbert and Mary were longtime Green Bay Packer season ticket holders, and even attended Super Bowl XXXI.

Mary is survived by her children, Robert (Shari) Blasdel, Deborah (Kevin Dalton) Blasdel, and Carol Larson; grandchildren, Amanda (Todd) Smith, Tyler (Katelynn) Blasdel, Kirk (Jamie) Blasdel, Jesse (Pam) Dalton, Sonya Dalton, Naomi (Geoff) Bird, and Justin Larson; and great-grandchildren, Lanie, Winnie, Adaline, Nolan, Lincoln, Raelyn, Chip, and Ephraim. She is further survived by her sister Lynn (Joe Ihm) Halverson, brother, Roger (Jill) Trankle, sister-in-law, Evelyn Mueller, nieces, nephews, and lifelong friends Ellen and Lloyd Hornbacher and Jackie Zebley.

Her sister Kate Spurley recently passed away 9 days after Mary’s death.

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Delbert, sisters Carol Andrew, Gen Andrew, and Phyllis Addison, and sister-in-law Norma Schweitzer.

Funeral service will be held at 11:00 am on Friday, July 8, 2022, followed by a luncheon at Bethany United Methodist Church, 3910 Mineral Point Road, Madison, WI. The Pastor Brad Mather will officiate.

Visitation will be held Friday from 10:00 am until time of service at the church.

The family would like to thank the staff at St. Mary’s Care Center, Noel Manor, Four Winds Manor, and Agrace Hospicecare for taking good care of Mom over the past three years.

The Becker-Beal Funeral Home of Belleville is assisting the family.

Memorials may be given to Bethany United Methodist Church or Agrace Hospicecare.

Morehouse, David C.

David C. Morehouse passed away at home on June 14, 2022, at the age of 75. David was born on February 9, 1947, in Madison, WI. He was the son of Albert J. and Virginia K. (Lorenz) Morehouse.

He was a graduate of Madison East High School class of 1965. He entered the United State Marine Corps in October 1966 and served two tours of duty in Vietnam, the first during the Tet Offensive. Over his lifetime David did many things, he was a son, brother, father, Marine, electrician, outdoorsman, artist, gardener, and a veteran. He always believed that his greatest professional accomplishments were his work on the restoration of the Wisconsin State Capital and with the National Park Service in Washington DC.

In October 1986, he married Alice Schmitz (Wurgler). He is survived by his wife, his son, Nicholas (Shelly) Morehouse; a grandson, Silas Morehouse and Jacob his Chocolate Lab. He is further survived by his siblings: Jeanne (Jack) Sexton, Tari (George) Brewe, Joe, and John (Jeana) Morehouse and their families and by his aunt Sister Anne Morehouse. He was preceded in death by his parents and brother Daniel.

A small family remembrance will be held in honor of David after cremation. Charitable donations in David’s memory can be made to Agrace Hospice Care: 5395 Cheryl Parkway, Madison, WI 53711 or

Cress Funeral & Cremation Services
3610 Speedway Road
(608) 238-3434

Didier, Paul

Paul Pierre Didier, died peacefully at home on June 15, 2022, surrounded by his five daughters, at the age of 85.

Paul was born on September 20, 1936, in Milwaukee, WI. He graduated from Marquette High School in 1954, and earned an Engineering Degree from Marquette University in 1958. Paul married Bonnie Jean Stott on September 6, 1958, after being introduced by friends on a blind date. They were married for 61-years.

Paul began his career in 1958 as a Civil Engineer for the City of Milwaukee, and then in 1967 took a position at the Department of Natural Resources in Madison. Paul retired from the DNR in 1998 after 31-years of service. Throughout his life, he and Bonnie enjoyed spending summers at Camp Charles Allis with friends and family and captaining his pontoon boat on Lake Beulah in East Troy, WI. He derived great pleasure in being with his 13 grandchildren and following their interests and accomplishments. He was affectionately known as Bompa or 'Bomps'. Throughout his life, he loved to ride his bike, and in the 1980s ran numerous marathons. One thing he was especially proud of was his family's 1926 Lincoln sedan touring car.

Paul was a devout Catholic and a dutiful servant to the Church as an Usher and Volunteer. He also volunteered many years as a delivery driver for the local Meals on Wheels. Paul served on many committees and boards such as his local condominium board of directors, Camp Charles Allis Association, Association of State and Territorial Solid Waste Management Officials, and the Lake Beulah Protective & Improvement Association.

Paul is survived by his five daughters: Mary Didier Kuypers (John) of Madison, Susan Didier Struve (Matthew) of Evanston, IL, Sara Didier Brechbill (Shawn) of San Clemente, CA, Jane Didier Wegner (Steve) of Madison and Amy Didier Johnson (Erik) of Middleton. Paul was the loving and adoring grandfather of 13 grandchildren: Genna Didier Jankowski (Alec), Taylor John Kuypers, Paige Elisabeth Schaeffer (Evan), Juliana Evelyn Struve (fiance Andrew Koutsoftas), Sarah Grace Kuypers, Lukas Merrill Brechbill, Natalie Elizabeth Struve, Lily Kathleen Brechbill, Sophia Adeline Wegner, Payton Quinn Johnson, Olivia Caroline Wegner, Avery Grace Johnson and Katharine Eleanor Struve; and one great-grandchild, Hattie James Jankowski.

Paul is preceded in death by his devoted and loving wife, Bonnie Jean (Stott) and son, Michael Paul Didier.

A Mass of Christian burial will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, June 22, 2022, at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, 602 Everglade Dr. Madison, WI, officiated by Fr. Bart Timmerman. Visitation will be held at the church prior to the Mass 9:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m. A luncheon reception will follow Mass at the church. A private family burial will be held at Resurrection Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Camp Charles Allis Assoc., W2035 Beulah Heights Rd, East Troy, WI 53120, or the charity of your choice.

Paul's family would like to extend a special thank you to the exceptional care provided by Jeri and her team at and Agrace Hospice.

Please share your memories at

Mertig, Richard "Dick"

Richard Alan Mertig age 79 of Black River Falls, Wisconsin, passed away peacefully on June 13th, 2022. He was born on March 20th, 1943 in Milwaukee, WI to Richard August and Laura Fredricka Mertig. He married Kathleen Ann Drmolka on August 24th 1968, in Wild Rose, WI.

In 1945, he moved to Hayward, WI with his parents and graduated from Hayward High School in 1961. He received his B.S. degree from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in January 1966, with majors in biology and resource management.

Richard was employed by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources from 1966 to 1998, and was stationed in Wild Rose, Horicon, and Black River Falls. Furthermore, Richard was one of the earliest employees of The Bureau of Real Estate, created in 1973. He continued on and retired in 1998 as a Western Region Real Estate Specialist.

In addition to his civilian life, Richard served in the Wisconsin Army National Guard from 1966 to 1972. He was stationed in Waupaca, Stevens Point, Neillsville, and Black River Falls. He provided support in the Milwaukee Race Riots and Madison Anti-War Riots during 1967.

Through continued faithfulness to his community, Richard served three terms (nine years) on the Black River Falls City Council, and three years on the Black River Falls Regional Police Commission. He was also a member of the Black River Falls Jaycees for five years and received the Key Man Award in 1972. His presence extended further into the Black River Falls Lions Club for forty-five years, where he was president from 1984 to 1985, program chairman for twenty years, and the recipient of the Melven Jones Award in 2011.

After retirement from the Wisconsin D.N.R., his time was spent attending car shows throughout the Midwest, and painting house interiors. He also worked for the Jackson County Circuit Court as a small claim's mediator, was a member of the State Lawyer Regulation Committee, and was a Court Appointed Personal Representative for several contested estates.

Richard enjoyed Canadian fishing trips with his friends, traveling with his family, car shows, and gardening. After Lions Club meetings, you would often find him rehashing discussions at the Skyline Golf Course Bar. On the other hand, it was acknowledged that he disliked large crowds, mean people, and the occasional discussion of radical self-serving politics.

Survived by wife Kathy, children Laura Mertig (Gene Arentz) of Onalaska, WI; Jeffrey Mertig of Chippewa Falls, WI; and Daniel Mertig (Tina Proeber) of Savannah, Georgia; grandchildren Adam and Owen Pfaff, Dillon and Dustin Arentz, Jillian and Jayton Mertig, and Lily and Jack Mertig. He was preceded in death by his parents, Richard and Laura.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Friday June 24th from 2pm-4pm at the Skyline Golf Course (612 N. 11thStreet Black River Falls). In Lieu of Flowers, memorials are preferably directed to Friends of the Black River, Black River Falls Lions Club, PBS TV and radio, and Kathy's House (9101 West Doyne Ave Milwaukee, WI 53226).

Burney, Charles "Chuck"

Charles Burney, 74, passed away unexpectedly on June 3, 2022. He was born to Claude and Dorothea Burney in Ilion, NY. He received a bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering and a master's degree in Water Resource Management.

In 1971 he joined the Peace Corps and spent two years in Nairobi, Kenya where he met his wife, Sharyn who he married in 1974. He cherished his Peace Corp experience working on projects to supply clean drinking water. He spent his career working for the Wisconsin DNR in Water Resource Management and Land Management.

He loved being a dad and shared his love of the outdoors with camping trips and fishing. He especially loved spending time with his grandchildren, Hazel and Charlie, and playing hide and seek or monster.

He enjoyed fishing, bowling, and golfing with his many friends and made them laugh with his sense of humor. Another passion was fishing on the lake at his cabin in Northern Wisconsin. He was always willing to help friends with computer problems and handy-man tasks (except plumbing).

He is survived by his wife, Sharyn; daughter, Sarah Burney; son, David Burney; daughter-in-law, Laura Burney; grandchildren: Hazel and Charlie Burney; sisters: Sandra Burney, Patricia Burney (Tom Parkhurst) and Sharon Eckler (Butch); niece, Mary Hardee (Jamie); children: Kaitlyn and Sean; nephew, Michael Eckler (Stacey); children: Vincent and Hanna.

He was preceded in death by his parents: Claude and Dorothea; and brother-in-law, Butch Eckler.

A celebration of life will be held at a future date.

In lieu of flowers, we suggest making a donation to the Salvation Army or the Second Harvest Food Pantry.

Dick Thiel

Dick Thiel, retired WDNR Wildlife Biologist, gave a very interesting presentation at the June meeting regarding early Wisconsin Conservationists, Wallace and Hazel Grange.

If you missed the meeting, click the video above to see the presentation.

May 2022

John Komassa  became a Technician at the Kettle Moraine Hatchery 1992 and a Hatchery Supervisor at Nevin in 1998. He was an Operation coordinator in Eagle, WI from 2005 – 2012. John then became a Hatchery Group Leader at SC office in Fitchburg from 2012 – 2021. He likes fishing, hiking, biking, magnet fishing and metal detecting. 

May 2022

Jim Amrhein retired on April 1, 2022 after a career of 34 years with WDNR. Jim started his career in Fisheries Management and moved into the Fish Contaminant Program in 1990 where he stayed until 2001. He then became the Water Quality Biologist for the Southern Region, station at Nevin.

Bob Lindmeire

Bob Lindmeier, Senior Chief Meteorologist at WKOW-TV, Madison, gave a very informative and educational presentation regarding climate change at our March meeting. Click the photo above to watch the presentation. Learn how climate change is already affecting Wisconsin and how you can become involved as part of the solution.

Go here too for more information . . .

January 2022

Todd Peterson received a B.S. in Wildlife from UW-Madison and a M.S. in Wildlife from the University of Minnesota. Todd's first job with WDNR was ripping out interior fences on newly acquired land in St. Croix County. He worked in Wildlife Management for about 24 years in a variety of positions specializing in land use. As a Section Chief, Todd supervised the Wildlife Health, Animal Damage, Urban Wildlife, and Private Lands Programs. He promulgated administrative rules and was fortunate to have the opportunity to travel extensively and be detailed to Washington, D.C., to work on agricultural policy with Congress and Administrations.

Our Special guest speaker for the February Zoom meeting was retired WDNR wildlife biologist Adrian Wydeven. Learn about the wolves annual life cycle and the biological and social management challenges. Click the photo above to watch his very informative, and comprehensive, report on Wisconsin's wolf management.



Go here to learn more about SWIB.

Higgs, Charles Edward

Charlie passed away peacefully, at home, surrounded by his loved ones.

Charlie was born March 1 1940 in Eads TN to Othal and Nina Higgs. He graduated from Elston Senior High School, Michigan City, IN in 1958.

Charlie married his high school sweetheart Ann K Jarvis on June 12, 1959 in Michigan City IN and they celebrated their 60 year anniversary with family and friends in 2019.

Charlie and Ann welcomed 3 daughters to their loving family; Susan, Linda and Beth.

He was awarded a full scholarship for basketball to the University of Michigan. This allowed him to obtain a degree in his chosen field of Forestry. He started his 36 year career with the WI Dept of Natural Resources in 1962 culminating with his final position of WI State Forester from 1990-1998. During his career, he and Ann were very fortunate to be able to travel the country and meet many friends that shared his love of nature and the outdoors.

After retirement, Charlie and Ann moved to Colorado. He was a member of the Loveland Fishing Club where he loved recruiting new members. He was honored to receive the 2019 Toughest Angler award in acknowledgment of his fortitude and great attitude during his long battle with cancer. He was awarded the 2021 Colorado Master Angler of the Year award for a 34 inch channel cat he caught with a night crawler on 6 pound test line.

Charlie was a member of Our Saviors Lutheran Church, Fort Collins. The family wishes to thank the Pastors and church members for their loving support.

He was preceded in death by his wife Ann in 2020, his parents, 2 brothers; Joe and Richard and other extended family members.

Charlie is survived by his daughters,Susan Higgs, Linda and Joe Moran, Beth Higgs and Ed Hawkins. Grandchildren, Meghan (Brody) and Danielle, Erin (Wesley) and Tyler. Brothers Cecil Higgs (Jutta) and Jim and Janet Higgs and extended family and friends.

National Cremation

Ross, Thomas A.

Thomas A. Ross passed away peacefully January 9th, 2022, with his wife at his side.

He was born in Rhinelander, WI to Angeline Elizabeth Bertha Anderson Gilley and Frank Thomas Gilley. He was later adopted by his stepfather, Donald Ross.

Tom graduated from Rhinelander High School in 1964 and from DeVry Tech of Chicago with a degree in Radio & TV Repair. He earned his FCC First Class Radiotelegraph License, then enlisted in the Army Signal Corps serving an MP post near the Korean DMZ.

He is survived by his wife, Jolene; daughters: Kristi (Brian Clausen) Ross-Clausen of Appleton and Ruth (Mike) Tress of Wausau; grandchildren: Alexander Clausen (fiancé' Amalie Ludwig) of Appleton, Carl Bartaszewicz of Wausau; Jessica (Jake Kalmon) Bartaszewicz of Medford and great-grandsons Ryker and Marek Kalmon.

Burial will be in Forest Home Cemetery, Rhinelander, in the spring.

The family would like to thank Oak Park place staff and Christina and Danielle from Moments Hospice for their care and concern for Tom and his family.

Brettschneider Trettin-Nickel Funeral Chapel

January 2022

Jeff Pagels received a B.S. degree in Wildlife Management from U.W. at Steven Point in 1970 and a M.S. degree in Public Environmental Administration from U.W. Green Bay in 1986. Before coming to work for the Wisconsin DNR in 1976, he served with VISTA, (Domestic Peace Corps) in Michigan’s U.P. and then was employed by the Central Upper Peninsula Planning and Development District in Escanaba, MI. He has spent his entire professional career working to improve park and recreation opportunities at the federal, state and most importantly, the local level. He retired in June of 2004 after more than 30 years as Local Government Outreach Team Leader in the DNR’s Northeast Region where he annually carried a workload of almost 200 active grant projects, which ranged from small local playground projects to multi-million dollar harbors of refuge for recreational boaters.

Rehlinger, Christopher P.

Christopher P. Rehlinger, age 50, peacefully passed away after an extended illness on Wednesday, December 22, 2021, surrounded by his family.

He was born on June 24, 1971, in Hartford, Wis., the son of Vern and Jennifer (McDermid)Rehlinger.

After graduating high school from Hartford Union High, Chris attended Mid-State Technical College earning an associate degree in civil engineering. On April 19, 1997, he married Lori Swansby.

Chris was employed with the Dept. of Natural Resources - State of Wisconsin in the engineering department, as a Construction Rep. He retired in September 2020 after 25 years of service.

He was an avid outdoorsman who especially enjoyed fishing and hunting but loved most attending his boys sporting events.

In addition to his wife Lori, Chris is survived by his two sons, Maxwell Fisher Rehlinger (20) and Lucas Mitchell Rehlinger (13); his parents, and many other family and friends.

A memorial Mass will be held at BLESSED TRINITY CATHOLIC PARISH AT ST. PATRICK CHURCH, 521 Fair St, Lodi, at 11 a.m., Saturday, January 15, 2022, with the Rev. Fr. Joseph Baker presiding. To honor Chris's wish of a casual, cheerful atmosphere, a gathering to celebrate his life and to share your favorite memories and stories of him will be held at Log Tavern Pizza, 102 Spring Creek Rd, Lodi, Wis., from 12 p.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturday, January 15, 2022.

Online condolences may be made at

Hawley, Michael Gary

Michael Gary Hawley 75 of Crivitz passed away at home with his family by his side on December 30, 2021. He was born to the late Charles and Marguerite Hawley on December 22, 1946 in Wausau, WI.

He went to High Falls Grade School and graduated from Crivitz High School in 1964. He attended University of Stevens Point and was on the dean’s list. Mike identified an unknown aquatic insect.

He married the love of his life Marilyn Kasal on June 8, 1968. The couple resided in Marinette. Mike worked for the Department of Natural Resources as a fishery biologist for over 42 years until retiring and moving to High Falls. He enjoyed spending time in the outdoors with his family. He had a lifelong passion for athletics.

He is survived by his loving wife Marilyn, two sons James (Martha) and Chuck Hawley. Three grandchildren Alex, Emma and Ethan Hawley. Brother Niel (Michiko) Steitzer, Dave (Marilyn) Steitzer, Dick Steitzer, Richard Hawley, sister Jeanne Bufe, Beverly Heinrichs and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by brother Charles Hawley, sister Joyce Heart.

The family will greet relatives and friends at the Faith Presbyterian Church in Crivitz on Saturday January 8th from 9-11 AM the Service will be at 11AM with Pastor David Pleuss officiating.

Rhodes-Charapata Funeral Home

Jacobs, John

John “Jake” Jacobs (87) passed away peacefully on Saturday, December 18, 2021. He was born in Manitowoc, Wisconsin to the late Josephine (nee Dufek) and Bernhardt Jacobs. Jake served in the U.S. Army in a Military Police Company U.S. 1st Division before marrying the love of his life, Sharon. Together, they raised three children: Michael Jacobs, Sandra (Bob) Meller, and Barbara (Eric) Paulsen. Jake adored his grandkids: Megan (Jesse), Kaitlyn, Matt (Trisha), Jacob, and Noah; as well as his one great-grandchild Albie.

Jake was an avid outdoorsman. He worked for the WI DNR for 32 years and loved hunting, fishing, golf, and hockey. His favorite places were the Northwoods, Door County, and the mountains in the western US. In addition to his love of the outdoors, Jake passed on his love of card games, books, and dogs to his family.

Jake is preceded in death by his parents, Aunt Lucy Dufek, and sisters Mary, Joanne, and Barbara. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the WI DNR or the Parks Project in Jake’s honor.

A private family service will be held for John at a later date. You may leave your private condolences for the Jacobs family at The Carlson Funeral Home (715-369-1414) is handling the arrangements for the family.

Jepsen, Edward Andrew

Ed Jepsen was born in Rockford, Ill., on June 28, 1950, and left planet Earth on Christmas morning 2021, after living with cancer for nearly five years. A born scientist, he will be remembered by family and friends for his kindness and generosity, intellectual curiosity, passionate care for planet Earth, sense of humor, enthusiasm and sincere interest in the well-being of others.

Ed married Kristin Groth in July of 2000, and they brought much love and joy to each other's lives. They shared a love of the outdoors, of plants and trees, wildlife, the arts, various community volunteer activities and travel. And if family or friends joined them? Bonus. They enjoyed a honeymoon to England, a music cruise in the British Virgin Islands, plays and museums in New York City, and traveling to Jepsen family reunions, and treasured exploring our National and State parks.

Ed's spirit needed nature. Wherever he was, he loved to seek out and explore the highest peak. He enjoyed annual winter camping trips and jumping into rivers - with or without clothes on. He was a voracious reader, but if given a choice, he'd always opt for going, doing, exploring and experiencing.

Ed encouraged his brothers, and others, to think about how to make a difference and leave a legacy - to be deliberate and do something that would make a positive difference in the world and with people.

Ed spent most of his adult life in Madison, Wis., where he married his first wife, Karen, and welcomed their children, Andrew and Kira, all while earning a double master's degree in forestry and forestry soils from the University of Wisconsin.

Andrew lives in Westlake Village, Calif., with his wife, Sarah, and their children, Ryan and Audrey. His daughter, Kira, is married to Jameson Brown, and they live in Boston, Mass., with their infant daughter, Celine.

Ed, "Dzia Dzia," was magical with little ones. Even at 71 he was a child at heart, heading right to the floor to play with them. He was never too tired to snuggle and share a book, such as "Who Sank the Boat?", one of Ryan's favorites. Ed loved his 37 years of working for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources with a focus on conservation, resource management and stewardship. He was responsible for longitudinal plant studies related to climate change, and traveled extensively in the Midwest to gather data and tend to department projects. He felt lucky to have a career he truly loved, and he instilled the value of that in Andrew and Kira.

Ed and Kristin met as volunteers for Tenney Park and the Yahara River Parkway in Madison, east side parks they both valued and supported. A crowning volunteer effort for Ed was his work with the Friends of Yahara River Parkway, a nonprofit group that advocates for the parkway and adjacent parks. Under his leadership and decades of work, the Yahara Parkway underpass for East Johnson Street was completed. Pedestrians and cyclists no longer had to dodge cars to cross East Johnson Street. Ed was fondly nicknamed "Captain Tenacity" for his Yahara Parkway work.

Trout fishing was a passion of Ed's, as were hiking, canoeing and kayaking. He valued the underpinnings of democracy and supported politicians who promoted policies that would help create a more equitable world. He looked forward to the PBS NewsHour and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and pondered and acted on ways to make our world a better place. He commuted on bicycle, shared a car with Kristin for many years, and was always mindful of sustainable choices.

Ed loved "Weeona," a Central Wisconsin lake cabin surrounded by forest, owned by beloved friends who treated him like family. In typical Ed fashion, he demonstrated his profound appreciation for his frequent visits to Weeona by creating a comprehensive, sustainable forest management plan which provided them with a blueprint to maintain the wild nature of this property for generations to come.

Ed was the second oldest of seven brothers, born to John and Angela "Nelly" Jepsen. For the past 30 years, the brothers and their families have gathered for a family reunion every other year, in various locations across the United States. On each of these reunions, Ed was the scout and planner for the best hikes, mountains to climb, rivers to canoe/kayak and places to fish. For each reunion he planned one especially challenging outdoor activity, or the "bi-annual family death march," as his son Andrew affectionately called it. Ed's nieces and nephews still laugh about the wind-blasted canoe trip in Door County, the marathon canoe trip on the Saugatuck River in Michigan and the trudge up a "fourteener" in Colorado. All had fond memories of these adventures and Ed was revered as "the nature app" for his extensive knowledge of fauna, flora, geology and history on these adventures - and any time in the outdoors. His friends and family will miss that.

It has been said that "people die in the manner in which they lived," and Ed was no exception. The last phase of Ed's life was filled with love, grace, humor and his dedication to the search for truth. "Ed always wanted to know the truth, even when it was hard," Kristin said affectionately. "He would say, 'Then we can make good choices.'"

10 days before he died, Ed's phone was exploding with loving texts and phone calls. He observed, "It seems like people just can't get enough of me." He was right, everyone wishes they had more time with him. Ed will be sorely missed and fondly remembered by all the people whose lives he touched.

Ed was preceded in death by his parents, John and Angela (Nelly) Jepsen. He is survived by his wife, Kristin Groth; son, Andrew (Sarah), and their children, Ryan and Audrey; daughter, Kira Brown (Jameson) and their daughter, Celine; his first wife, Karen; and brothers, John (Pat), Alan (Marisa), Stan (Barb), Stephen (Mary Ann), Chris (Tori) and Chuck; as well as their 17 children and two grandchildren. He is also survived by many in Kristin's family and countless friends who also helped him leave this earth feeling well and truly loved.

Memorials to honor Ed are easy: Give a gift of time or money to help heal our environment, promote equity or protect our democracy. Be recklessly kind. Get a vaccine.

A gathering to celebrate Ed will start at 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 7, 2022, at Tenney Park's John Wall Pavilion in Madison, with a program at 7 p.m., and end with a toast to Ed as the sun sets over Lake Mendota at 8:06 p.m. Ed was always on the lookout for a good sunset.

Ball, Joe

Joe Ball passed away on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020, at VA Hospice in Madison, after a courageous battle with cancer.

Joe was born on Nov. 22, 1942, in Harrison, Ark., to Leo and Bernice Ball. He graduated from high school in Postville, Iowa, in 1960 where he participated in football and baseball. After graduation he joined the U.S. Navy, serving from 1960 to 1963. In 1963, Joe married his high school sweetheart, Norma McNally. He went on to study Fish & Wildlife Biology at Iowa State University and graduated in 1968. Joe began his career at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources in fishery management, then Laboratory Services at the University of Wisconsin, and finally in water quality management coordinating the statewide water quality monitoring program. He retired after 33 years and felt lucky to have had a great job that he loved.

Joe enjoyed picture framing as a hobby, which consisted of custom framing a variety of artwork, photographs and stained glass panels. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, softball, bowling, sailing, skiing and reading. He spent time on prairie restoration and establishing a butterfly habitat at his home. He served on the Planning and Zoning Commission for Blue Mounds Township.

Each spring, Joe would take his sons to Canada for a weeklong camping and fishing trip. He enjoyed traveling and spending time with his family. He will be greatly missed by his family, friends and neighbors. Joe always gave 100% in everything he did, serving his country, loving his family, his job, home, property and hobbies, giving us all a lot of wonderful memories.

Joe is survived by his wife, Norma; sons, James (Joan), Jared (Jill) and Jason (Kim); granddaughters, Abigail and Hannah; sister, Mary (Frank) Olson; sisters-in-law, Beverly McNally and Jean McNally; brothers-in-law, Tom and Randy (Janet) McNally; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Leo and Bernice Ball; in-laws, Leo and Violet McNally; brothers-in-law, Roland and Ted McNally; and sisters-in-law, Cecelia, Cheryl and Nancy McNally.

Memorials may be made to Mount Horeb Veterans Memorial Fund. Online condolences may be made at .

Gunderson Camacho Mount Horeb
Funeral & Cremation Care
500 N. Eighth St.
(608) 437-5077